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Dubya doused in ice-water for MND challenge

Suzanne McGonagle s.mcgonagle@irishnews.com

JUST a day after Rory McIlroy laid down the ice bucket gauntlet to George W Bush, the former US president stepped up to the challenge, which raises awareness of motor neurone disease.

Mr Bush responded to nominations from various celebrities, including the Holywood golfer, and was doused in cold water by former first lady Laura Bush. The challenge, which originated in the US, is to raise awareness of motor neurone disease (MND) or ALS as it is known in America.

Mr Bush started his video by trying to forgo the challenge altogether. "I do not think it's presidential for me to be splashed with ice water, so I'm simply going to write you a cheque," he said.

But after his wife sneaked up behind him and covered him with a bucket of ice water, he then nominated another former president, Bill Clinton. Irish stars have also been among those to take part in the recent craze, including Co Down actor Jamie Dornan. The Fifty Shades of Grey star teamed up with fellow Hollywood actor Eddie Redmayne - who plays MND patient Professor Stephen Hawking in a biographical film due out later this year - to complete the challenge. Jennifer Maloney from Derry, who lost her father Arnold Doherty to MND, praised the ice bucket challenge and said it was "uplifting and poignant". "It may be gimmicky, fun and a bit crazy but the ice-bucket challenge takes on a special resonance with me," she said. "The craze kicked off in the US and seems to be an unstoppable internet phenomenon. "My father died of MND in April this year after battling this brutal and cruel disease for almost four years. "My father was initially told he just had sciatica when he first developed what I now know was one the classic symptoms of the disease - he was dragging his foot. "Even some healthcare professionals are unaware of MND as some GPs only see two cases in their entire career. "This is why the ice bucket challenge is important - anything which raises awareness for this disease and funds too of course is all good in my book. "There is no government funding into motor neurone disease so funds raised as a result of the ice bucket challenge can be used for research or patient care."

* OUT IN THE COLD: Former US president George W Bush, far left, is doused in ice cold water by wife Laura. Among the other celebrities to take part in the ice bucket challenge - which raises awareness of Motor Neurone Disease - was Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan, left

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